A Teacher’s Happiness

Suchi’s day started – quickly finishing the household chores and rushing to the school where she had to scream time and again, “Keep quiet, no whispering, complete your work…” Suchi had been in this profession for two decades and her routine had been the same. It was the same classroom setup with same infrastructure, almost same syllabus, and every year only students changed. She felt like a robot repeating same instructions and endeavoring hard to inculcate love for the subjects she taught, in her pupils.

Today, she had a holiday. She sat in her courtyard looking at the fragrant flowers, buzzing bees, chirping birds as golden sunlight kissed the earth. She partook nature’s beauty and recalled the lines by W.H Davies:

“What is this life, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”

In this mood of tranquil solitude, she went down the memory lane when she had joined the school with zeal and zest, and always loved to be among vivacious and vibrant children. The innocent children’s curious queries delighted her. She loved those inquisitive eyes eager to learn. But soon she realized that her playful pedagogy wasn’t much appreciated as child’s performance would be judged as her performance. It was about numbers, marks, percentage, about parents who wanted the teacher to groom the child as per their whims. Her tryst with teaching started falling apart.

Feeling dejected, remembering all this, she didn’t feel like going to the kitchen. Suchi decided to have an outing with her family for a change.

Her pool of thought was intruded by the musical sound of the doorbell. She got up to open the door. A young charming boy stood there with a bouquet and a box of sweets in his hands. He smiled at her, and his smile made her say, “Samarin! How you have blossomed into a handsome boy!” Samarin had been her student years ago. He touched her feet and sought her blessings.

He had come to share his success with her as he had been selected in a prestigious college for his MBBS. He recalled how she narrated them the anecdotes from the lives of legends who studied hard facing various odds, and reached the sky. How those tales inspired him and put him on the scholarship of pilgrimage, and ignited in him a flame to excel. How her play-way methods of beyond the book are etched in his heart and many a times had guided him in the tough phases of life. The overwhelming gesture of Samarin made her cry tears of joy. Samarin had made her realize that her efforts had been rewarded. His words that how he and his seniors often quote her inspiring tales to their peers, moved her.

When Samarin left, her gloom was replaced by gaiety, and she hummed the lines of Samuel Johnson written in her father’s diary, “He who teaches us anything which we knew not before is undoubtedly to be revered as a master.”

She smiled looking at the silver rays of the moon.

Ritu Kamra Kumar

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